Students spend spring break doing hard labor in Costa Rica

Published 1:13 am Tuesday, April 2, 2019

A group of Straughn High School juniors and seniors spent their Spring Break on a mission trip in Costa Rica with Mt. Zion Methodist Church.

The Rev. Diane Everett of Mt. Zion Methodist Church said that the teenagers have been planning the trip for more than a year.

“The entire trip planning started with the three girls that went on the trip,” Everett said. “They had been wanting to go for quite a while. Last year, the opportunity finally came up. I have a friend, Alecia Glaize, who has gone to Costa Rica a number of times, so I asked her about her experience. That is how it started.”

Glaize most recently served as minister of education at First United Methodist Church of Andalusia.

Brittany Bates, Abbie Wood, Ella Grace Wood, Thomas Clark, and Sam Groce pose with a native in Costa Rica. They were accompanied there by Rev. Diane Everette and Beverly Groce.
Courtesy photo

As for the timing of the trip, Everett said that that was also all of the students’ ideas.

“They thought that spring break would be a great time to go,” Everett said. “So they planned it around that time.”

Everett said that even though they were spending their spring break working, they enjoyed it.

“They were asked the question, ‘Would you rather spend your break on a beach somewhere or on a mission trip,’” Everett said. “They said that by far they would much rather be doing the work that they were doing.”

The work that the students did was not lackadaisical.

“The stuff that they did was hard labor,” Everett said. “It was productive work, but it was hard work. We were working in Tobas, Costa Rica, at the Methodist Children’s Home. We were trying to build a wall, so we all took turns carrying concrete in a wheelbarrow up and down a hill, laying cinderblocks, shoveling rock and sand, and the two guys dug a ditch for the wall. We also taught a bible school.”

Everett said that the teenagers came home with a clearer sense of purpose.

“They are all juniors and seniors and they are all in the process of deciding what they want to do for the rest of their life,” Everett said. “I think this has helped them to focus in on what they would like to do. They all cried the day that we had to leave, they didn’t want to come back.”

The group is already planning another trip to go back to Costa Rica.